PARK LEK was an utopian art project as well as a concrete intervention into an urban planning process, performed between 2010 – 2014 and responding to an invitation from Marabouparken Konsthall in Sundbyberg, to create a project with park / park play as its inspiration and point of departure.
Through the use of durational strategies and strategies of play, I gathered a broad range of different people and raised their awarness about a a proposed district plan for densification of two urban areas, Hallonbergen and Ör in Sundbyberg, Sweden.
The art project appeared as a parallell public hearing procedure, and elaborated a different plan in collaboration with particpants. This plan was presented at the public gallery and to the municipality. This alternative plan was approved by the municipality two years later. This meant that the plan of the group of six major developpers in Sweden, was rejected.
The project was a part of Marabouparken Lab and was performed in collaboration with Marie Cathrine Trabut Jørgensen and Peter Schultz Jørgensen,both from Denmark, with financial support from Statens Konstråd and Samverkansprojektet, as well as from Sundbyberg stad. The city architect Karin Milles, and planners Åsa Steeen, Helena Dunberg and Lisa Brattström were collaborators in the realisation.
Photo; PARK LEK
( For a 20 min video /presentation I made at Samtidskonstdagarna in Malmö in 2015, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0f8efn0aIYSweden : .)
With PARK LEK, I responded to an invitation from Marabouparken Konsthall in Sundbyberg, Sweden, to create a project using park, and in particular park play (ground) as my inspiration and point of departure. The project was initiated as a contribution for the 2010 inaugural exhibition of the public gallery.
In an initial phase of my project PARK LEK (PARK PLAY), I brought together civil servants and politicians from the municipality of Sundbyberg in the art gallery, to reflect on how the city’s parks could function as contact areas for the citizens. ( See above) The discussions here also came to touch on a planned densification of the districts of Hallonbergen and Ör, as concrete examples of how urban development in Sundbyberg slowly is encroaching on parks and green areas.
A full year later, the PARK LEK project entered its second phase. I decided to intervene into this densification, by appearing as an alternative to the planned public consultation procedure. With the support of the Swedish National Council of Art, the municipality of Sundbyberg had accepted my invitation to chart thoughts, ideas and structures, as perceived by the residents and by others with relations to their areas today. My question to each was, how the urban areas look, when seen from their window?
This initated a pure walk and talk phase: I visited individual or groups of locals, administrators, teachers and other professionals with a relation to the two urban areas. Each dialogue was documented on video, and by the end of March 2012; over 43 films were placed on you tube. Above: Ingrid in her window facing the area for densification, in 2010. ( see parklek.com)
These videos opened for an intense local debate about the future of the areas. I received requests of meetings between all participants, to collectively read and re-define the proposed plan.
The discussions were realised as two all-weekend workshops, and led to the elaboration of a different version of a district plan for the future densification.
The PARK LEK-project was presented at a group-exhibition entitled Hembyg(g)d, at Marabouparken in 2012. My fellow artists in the exhibition were Pawel Althamer, Catti Brandelius, Anna Högberg & Johan Tirén, Kateřina Šedá, Anna Witt.
Above: PARK LEK dialogues performed at Hembyg(g)d, Marabouparken, 2012.
A third and final part of the art project, PARK LEK PARLIAMENT, was realised in collaboration with the City of Sundbyberg, and materialized in an open corner space in Hallonbergen Shopping Centre.
I appropriated this corner by painting it brightly pink. Here, during 18 months, I moderated negotiations, discussions and workshops in full view amid the shopping centre’s other visitors. The aim was to concretize the earlier versions of our proposal, and work out more concrete solutions for the concerns formulated in the initial video films.
In May 2014, the municipal government in Sundbyberg took the principal decision to implement our counter-plan, and to let the new working methods of the PARK LEK project be used in the future planning work within the urban development. In relation to this event, a final and cohesive exhibition of the entity of the project was performed in the shopping mall of Hallonbergen.
From 2015 and on, the municipality is working on the realisation of the plan, and already the alternative areas for new settlements have been implemented, as well as the realisation of the new community house Toppstugan, the new youth centre and the realisation of the so called Green Cross – two urban parks in the area.
PARK LEK is thus both a utopian art project as well as a concrete intervention in the urban planning process.
Above: The video films with particpants displayed in the final exhibition of the project, in the shopping mall of Hallonbergen 2014.
The second phase of PARK LEK was a walk and talk process, intiated through this question. I visited individual or groups of locals, administrators, guards, teachers, professionals with a relation to the two urban areas . Each dialogue was documented on video. In all 43 films were placed on you tube by the end of May 2012.
The videos opened for a series of meeting between all particpants. The goal was to assemble their local perspectives on the council’s plans for Hallonbergen and Ör, and thereby supplement and perhaps amend the densification proposal of December 2011. The discussions led to the elaboration of a counterversion of a district plan for the future.
A third and final part, PARK LEK PARLIAMENT, realised in collaboration with the City of Sundbyberg, materialized in a bright pink open space in Hallonbergen Shopping Centre, where negociations, discussions and workshops were conducted in an appropriated corner of the centre, in full view amid the shopping centre’s other visitors. The aim was to concretize the earlier proposals and work out solutions for the concerns formulated in the intial videofilms.
At the end of the project, in May 2014, the municipal government in Sundbyberg took the principal decision to implement the counter-plan of the project, and to let the new working methods of the PARK LEK project affect the future planning work with the urban development. PARK LEK is thus a utopian art project as well as a concrete intervention in the urban planning process.
Above: The wall in the Pink Room was the logbook of the project.
Below: Among the concrete results of the project was a the elaboration of a concrete proposal for a new communal house in the local park – Toppstugan. Below second: This community house was realised by the municipality in Nov 2015. See; http://www.parklek.com